Massive Attack at Sound Academy, Toronto – Gig Review and Photos

May 10, 2010

Gig/Concert: Massive Attack
Venue: Sound Academy, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Date: 7 May 2010
In One Word: Tempestuous

Massive Attack at Sound Academy, Toronto, 7 May 2010 - photo by Natascha Malta, Music Vice

It was storming that Friday night when Massive Attack played the Sound Academy. As I waited for the bus to Polson Pier the rain was driving down out of the dark sky in aluminum sheets. A night of thunderstorms was fitting for the event. As I stood watching the stormy trip-hop duo perform their dark brand of down-tempo music, I couldn’t shake the feeling of being underwater.

The show began with a ringing of alarums, and then the band with Del Naja came on to a stage covered in smoke. I was interested to see how the duo was going to present their new material which features a guest artist on almost every track, and was delighted that the answer to this problem was bringing the guests on tour with them. Both Martina Topley-Bird (looking eerie and beautiful in eel-skin tights and a blue sequined dress) and Horace Andy made show-stealing appearances on stage, and one of the most applauded moments on stage was when Andy performed his previous classic with Massive Attack, “Angel”. Also present was a second guest female vocalist who I didn’t recognize.

G took to the stage around song 4 or 5 with a face looking like a thundercloud. Massive Attack, as well as being famous for being the first trip-hop band is famous for being the band that can’t stand to be in the same room as each other, and both G and Del Naja looked sour at moments. I didn’t have a great vantage point of the show, I got stuck by the doors closest to the stage and the crowd was too thick to get any closer. It was not the best place to watch the show, and I found the guest performances making a bigger impression with me than either Daddy G or band ringleader Del Naja. Seeing the live performance made me realize how important a role guests play in Massive Attack, who play a big part in making the band the success that they are.

It could’ve been the ardour of the voyage out to Polson Pier in such extreme weather, but from where I stood I couldn’t see much dancing going on. I guess the down-tempo grooves of MA are better suited for standing and quietly listening. Coupled with the lighting from the show, the overall feeling was of being at a party of wraiths and damned souls at the bottom of ocean.

© Natascha Malta, Music Vice


4 Responses to Massive Attack at Sound Academy, Toronto – Gig Review and Photos

  1. JB on May 10, 2010 at 7:27 pm

    I think maybe the in-fighting does them good because they probably try and better each other when coming up with ideas.

  2. Jordan on May 11, 2010 at 12:20 pm

    Yay Natascha! Writing for a real magazine and whatnot! Sounds like it was a very chill show 🙂

  3. Natascha Malta on May 11, 2010 at 12:42 pm

    I know right? You should’ve seen the rainstorms in Toronto last weekend Jordan. I’ve never see one stay over the city for so long. Trekking across the city to get to that venue was miserable in the rain.

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